Monday, September 26, 2016

No Anger, Just Autumn Glee

I don't take back my sentiments from the other day, but I do see there's really no need to express them. Who cares? I'm not here on this planet to defend my opinions but to live and love. Today is sunny and chilly, and I've been dancing around the house to The Okey Dokey Brothers wearing Felix for the last 45 minutes (the kitchen counter is my new, hip, standing desk). He won't let me sit down, which is great, right? Forced exercise while snuggling with this sweet little guy! Pre-preggo jeans, here I come! (LOL, Nope. Hips don't lie, y'all.). So, I think the mosquitoes have finally moved on, which is wonderful news for us. We can go outside without driving 20 minutes into town. I'm psyched to put out a blanket and look up at the trees with the little one this afternoon. He loves green and leaves and trees, already his father's son, as if the physical resemblance weren't enough. He also loves other babies, which we discovered at our last Baby & Me class. He stared and smiled at the other babies, but they didn't respond, the little snobs. Anyway, that's exciting because Felix starts part-time daycare in November, and now I know he'll enjoy making some new friends. :) Rambling here, sorry. Happy Autumn. Be well.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

My Baby Is Not a Dog

While I agree that parents should do what works for them and that there are many different parenting styles, and it's none of my business which you choose, I confess to feeling a little bit judge-y and exasperated with all the people out there "training" their babies and encouraging me to do the same. With my first son, I didn't think too much about it. I knew you can't spoil a baby and that they deserve to be loved and have their needs met, but I was also blessed with a pretty easy-going baby, and I had all the time in the world to devote to him. This time around, I have a baby AND a nearly 6 year-old, and this baby is adorable and sweet and also passionate and spirited and demanding. He is a person, not a dog to be trained. At three months old, he'll still only nap on my lap or in the carrier. Yes, I've tried every possible piece of advice EXCEPT CIO (Cry It Out - No, I will never do that. It's wrong and cruel and horrible, especially at such a young age. I could list the scientific and psychological reasons, but I won't. It's my choice. That being said, I'm not condemning a few minutes of crying or helping him develop better sleep habits, especially at a later age, although I would argue that this naturally develops on its own, even if later than we'd like. Anyway, agree or disagree; I don't care.). I feel like people forget that babies are BABIES. They're helpless and overwhelmed and can only express their needs through crying. If they're crying, they need you, even if it's not convenient for you. It's frustrating and exhausting, but I chose to be a parent. It's my job to follow through. Routines are good for babies and children, but training is not. I wouldn't leave a scared friend alone in a dark room sobbing for hours. I wouldn't even leave my dog like that. I will never look back and regret holding my baby over doing the dishes.

Oh, and yes, I wrote this with a baby on my lap.

[Interesting note: my OB and pediatrician completely agree. I value their knowledge more than these often non-qualified baby-advice book-writers.)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Life Updates with Knitting Pics!

I lost interest in blog-writing for a long time. Even now, I wonder who cares and who reads this, and I must confess, I really just write this for myself. If someone out there reads this and finds it mildly interesting, well, you are the best and I will love you forever.

Now back to me. In the past year, Kevyn got a new job, we got pregnant and moved to a new state, and are about to have a second son (like tomorrow or two weeks from now, who knows?). We've enjoyed making wonderful new friends and exploring our new home and have done lots of fun things from zoos and aquariums to parks and hikes and three concerts (Ani Difranco, Florence + the Machine, and The Cure!). We're looking forward to a beautiful WI summer, and let me tell you, it's already so green and lush and gorgeous here; it makes the three weeks of near constant rain so worth it.

But like I said, the baby is coming any day now. At first, I was worried that meant a lack of fun for me and an abundance of jealousy and suffering for Niko. My hormones seem to be tapering off, though, and my anxiety is dissipating. Instead, I'm just excited, excited to meet my youngest son and to share him with Kevyn and Niko, excited to learn together how to be a family of four, excited for visitors, for outings with friends. Who says you can't take a newborn places? Grumpy frumpy people, that's who. I don't want to be one of them. Am I still a little nervous about juggling all this? Sure, but I can't stop time or life, so I'll get over it.

Lastly, what blog post of mine is complete without some knitting updates??? Here's what I've worked on this year - I was lucky to meet some other moms who got together to knit over the winter and spring. I look forward to joining them again when the weather gets cool this fall. :)


A lifetime supply of booties!
Booties for Bobby! You'll meet him in a second.
A sleep sack for Bobby (originally for the baby, but I messed up the bottom a little. I'm working on a new one that will hopefully be done in time for baby)!
This is Bobby! He's the newest member of our family and sleeps in a cardboard box next to Niko's bed. Only the best for Bobby!
Two blankets for baby.
Two blankets for Niko (but I made the green one when he was a baby).


Monday, June 6, 2016

Raising Boys Is Not "EASIER" Than Raising Girls

Sexism, like racism and many other isms, is often subtle. Most of us sane people are all enraged by overt acts of sexism, but we need to get angry over the little things. I hear many parents talk about how "easy" it is to raise boys or joke about how hormonal girls are. Stop this nonsense. There's nothing easy about raising kids, and boys are not better than girls. Nor are they worse. It shouldn't have to be said that they are occasionally different in some ways but mostly the same in the ways that count. Just like grown-ups the world over.

Having girls means a lot of worry over body image and safety. Having boys means the same thing, just from a different perspective. I'm about to welcome my second son. I love having sons, just as I would love having daughters if that's what I ended up with. But make no mistake; having sons means that my partner and I have to teach them how to be good men who respect and support women. We can't afford to ignore sexism just because they aren't the victims of it. Same goes for racism.

We've already dealt with gender issues with our 5 year-old coming home from school telling us what boy colors and girl colors and boy toys and girl toys are, which he's learned from other children. We have to deprogram him. We have to constantly tell him that boys and girls can like the same things, do the same things, or not, depending on whatever their personal preference is. And we also have to do this subtly so as not to draw too much attention to it. It ought to be natural to realize that we're all people and should not be limited by gender. Because that's the future we want for our kids, for our society. A world where who the eff cares what parts you carry around in your pants. Like what you like. Do what you like. Walk where you like. Any time of day. That's our goal. It should be yours, too, no matter what sex your child is born with.

Parenting isn't easy, but it's rewarding. We're raising people here who we hope will be kinder and more inclusive than the adults that came before them. We can make a difference in this often messed-up world simply by being good parents.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Blogs Schmogs

I haven't been a very good blog-updater this year. Life is life, as I'm sure you can all relate to. Some of it's fun, some boring, all busy. There's a lot going on right now, and I'll give you a bigger update later this year, but for now I just want to remind you all how awesome and wonderful October and Halloween are. So there. You've been reminded. :)

Niko is following in his mommy's footsteps. A day doesn't go by when he doesn't ask for a "plooky" story or "plooky" movie. He's begged us to take him to the Goosebumps movie this weekend, and we are. We're also going on a spooky train-ride and will make and put up some decorations at home.

I love my kid. I love the joy he finds in life, in every aspect of it. We need more of that as grown-ups. Every day is amazing. Going for a walk with Niko and Ginny while the air is crisp and red maple leaves twirl around us is amazing. I love it. If I didn't love these things, I don't know how I'd get out of bed each day. I'm not trying to preach - well, maybe I am - but if you're not appreciating the little moments, what's the point?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My Parents Better Not Be Reading This!

My father is very difficult. I mean, to choose or make presents for! Most people are, don't you think? I'm not a fan of buying useless things, but making useless things? Hells yeah. Let's do this thing.  I just finished knitting this for my dad, from his Little Piglet. If you're reading, dad, which I know you occasionally do, well, surprise.

Most adorable stuffed knitted pig created by most adorable and talented daughter.
My mom, on the other hand, is not very difficult. She appreciates little things and has a large house to fill up with knick knacks and gadgets. Still, I don't want to give just any old - or new - thing. I embroidered this bag because I like to embroider and because my mom and I like to share coffee and sweets together, especially on a lazy Sunday morning. 

Cute and thoughtful, from a cute and thoughtful daughter.
Well, if you saw this post, mom and dad, you'll be seeing the real deal soon. This is just a teaser.

How To Make Dandelion Syrup

Pick dandelions.
Wash dandelions.

Dry dandelions.

Drink a beer.

Dry dandelions some more.

Decapitate dandelions.

Cover dandelions with water.

Boil dandelions for about a minute. Steep overnight.

Add sugar and honey.

Simmer for a LONG time.

Store airtight in fridge 2-3 months.
Final step: eat it! It tastes a LOT like honey. I had some over fruit last night but also plan on using it as I would maple syrup or regular honey. Put in coffee or tea. Pour over pancakes or waffles. Drizzle over baked goods or ice cream. The sky is the limit (much like the amount of dandelions in our yard).